Patent diagram reverse-engineered into a simplistic render
Illustration: Dyson, altered by the author

Dyson, the design-heavy upmarket appliance brand best known for its high-performance vacuums, has been working on an electric car concept (actually a few cars) for some time. This week, patent drawings came out that reveal some ideas the company’s kicking around.

Now you may well know, patent filings are not necessarily indicative of final production designs. Especially when it comes to details. The Dyson cars could end up looking nothing like what we’re seeing in these diagrams. But, these illustrations do give us an impression of where development’s at with the vehicles.

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The Financial Times quoted inventor Sir James Dyson stating: “Obviously with an electric car, the range is the most important thing... But it’s also efficiency–the whole point of an electric car is that it doesn’t waste power.”

Focusing on the patent drawing’s main attributes, it looks like exactly what I would have expected: a clean, simple three-row crossover vehicle with generous ground clearance.

The picture makes it look like the windshield extends all the way to the back of the roof, but that could just be a byproduct of this being a basic sketch.

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Dyson’s plan is apparently to have vehicles for sale by 2021, which sounds ambitious, particularly since we haven’t seen much hype about it beyond the company’s “automotive” website.

But if the company really is committing billions of dollars to this enterprise, anything is possible.

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AutoCar also ran a story about the Dysonmobile (my name, not official) today including a much more impressive silhouette render, adding that the vehicle will largely be made of aluminum with “skateboard” style architecture, where the body sits on a flat platform holding the battery, which a lot of electric car concepts seem to utilize.

Both sites speculated on the vehicle’s dimensions, but annoyingly, neither included a link to the actual patent itself so I can’t offer my own interpretation of how the Dyson concept proportionally compares to other cars. My own searching for the original patent has been fruitless, but I’ll update this post if I find it and find more detail to add.

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I’m still not sure what to make of this, but I have to admit I appreciate the prospect of more players in the electric car space. And even though Dyson’s new to cars, it’s an established brand with a track record of making cool things that actually work.